It’s moving day today (Saturday) for a section of a Des Moines hospital where doctors send their sickest, youngest patients from all over the state. Doctor Terri Wahlig is a neo-natologist at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, which is moving its unit for young patients. She says they got help from both medical professionals and families in designing private rooms where young patients can have the best of modern care.
The new unit design has private rooms. She says each baby has access to all the equipment that may be necessary, from monitors to ventilators to incubators. Dr. Wahlig says perhaps the biggest change in transforming it from a 30-bed unit to forty private rooms is the addition of facilities for parents to stay right there in the child’s room;
There’s space in each room for parents to stay overnight if they choose, and to breastfeed, read, use a computer or just sit nearby. There’s also room for siblings, she says, as the plan is to help families stay close their babies in an environment that’s warm and comforting but still provides all the high-tech care the babies may need. Mercy this summer also started offering 24-hour service at its Children’s Emergency Center, a pediatric trauma suite with doctors who specialize in treating children’s illnesses and injuries.